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  • Independence Day

    Posted by Helen on July 3rd, 2007 (All posts by )

    One of the great sorrows of British life at present is the widespread anti-Americanism both on the left and the right. One can understand why the left should feel so – the United States is the pre-eminent liberal (mostly) democratic capitalist society, all of which they hate.

    Why the right should seethe with anti-Americanism is a little more complicated and one that I hope to discuss in greater detail in a future posting. For the moment I simply want to wish all the best to all our American friends for July 4.


    11 Responses to “Independence Day”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      Thanks! I reciprocate the sentiments to you and our many other friends on the Anglosphere mother ship.

    2. Methinks Says:

      Thank you, Helen.

      I look forward to your post about this.

    3. dearieme Says:

      Two dud Presidents in a row might have something to do with it.

    4. Val Says:

      I heartily endorse Helen’s sentiments. Happy Fourth of July to the country that is still the most liberty-loving, the most jealous guarder of freedom, the most productive and the most adventurous country in the world! Long may America enjoy 4th of Julys!

    5. veryretired Says:

      My oldest and dearest friend and I have been estranged from time to time over the course of our lives, and we rarely say anything to each other that doesn’t contain one of those insults that guys use to kid each other, but if I was up against it, he would be there, and I hope he knows the same would apply in reverse.

      And so it is in many ways between our two countries. Thank you for your kind sentiments, and I too will be looking forward to your expanded analysis of these problems. But, don’t worry—when the chips are down, we know very well who our friends are, and who can truly be counted upon to stand by our side.

      I am afraid that those times are coming along, far and away more serious and important than we can grasp at this point. And, then, similar to that which the gospel parable describes, we shall see in which soil the seed fell upon good ground, and which was stony and filled with thistles.

      The ongoing story of the endless series of battles to preserve the rights of the individual against those who would destroy them will soon open another chapter. My considered opinion is that the definitive future history of that battle will be written in english, and subjected to the vigorous criticism and debate that free minds so relish, and require.

      If I am wrong, then the long night that Churchill spoke of and fought against during his life may very well descend a century later to darken the future of mankind. But, even in that dire case, the light that the ideas of July 4th lit in our hearts and minds will not be extinguished, and, as the dawn always comes eventually, even to the darkest and stormiest of nights, so too will the rights of man once again flare forth to illuminate the path to liberty and freedom.

      Please pardon an old man for becoming maudlin and sentimental. As I watch my children set out to live their lives, I tremble for the challenges they will face, even as I admire the courage and steadfastness of their minds and hearts.

      The glory of truly free men and women is that they simply cannot, ever, settle for being anything less. And that, I think, may in the end be the salvation of all.

    6. Oliver Suess-Barnkey Says:

      Most of my colleagues are from Britain and other English-speaking countries other than America. I know of none that hate America.

      They all, to my knowledge, despise Bush and his phoney, breast-beating “conservatism.”

      Got it. Hate Bushism, love America.

      Why is that so hard for some people to accept?

    7. Verity Says:

      What is “phoney breast-beating conservatism”, please. You seem to have a rather superior attitude and I’m just wondering why?

      “Got it. Hate Bushism, love America.

      “Why is that so hard for some people to accept?”

      Perhaps because some of us don’t agree with facile slogans and would-be controlling people?

    8. Oliver Suess-Barnkey Says:

      Thank you, Verity, for asking:

      Phoney breast-beating conservatism is the kind that claims it favors small-government but puts spending and debt through the roof while compromising civil liberties and demanding government intervention into everything from private telephone conversations to religion, science, medical choices and marriage vows.

      Real conservatism is always on-guard for overreach by the government and scrupulously, vigorously skeptical of government crusades like the one to bring democracy to Iraq, nay the entire Middle East, via bombing, extra-constitutional detainment, government paid-for fake news and torture.

      Phoney breast-beating conservatism plays on ethnic insecurities and tribal instinct to generate fear of outsiders, inflating a neutered–if nonetheless emotionally terrifying–security problem from isolated, suicidal religious freaks like bin Laden into existential threats to the most powerful military ever.

      Real conservatives know the innate appeal of human freedom and its obvious fruits are more than enough to overwhelm any potential ideological competition from radical Islam and others of its ilk. They know the extremists, who control no territory, are very poorly armed and riven by internal divisions and a risible, suicidal ideology, are no match militarily for a single National Guard battalion from any mid-sized American city, let alone for the entire U.S. military.

      Real conservatives recognize that humanity will never be free from evil, as it is innate. They know that the government can never completely secure us from terrorism, given the inevitable availability of weapons of mass destruction and the innate vulnerability of a free society. They also know that campaigns demanding an unrealistic level of physical security from the government are throughout history the most-common path to tyranny.

      Phoney breast-beating conservatives demand moral and fiscal blank checks to chase the absurd, fantastic fable of absolute security from attack–not, mind you, absolute security from real, existential threat, but security from any and all attacks, including the most desperate, suicidal, unpreventable bombings from the tiniest, least popular, least ideologically viable opponent.

    9. Angie Schultz Says:

      Phoney breast-beating conservatism plays on ethnic insecurities and tribal instinct to generate fear of outsiders, inflating a neutered–if nonetheless emotionally terrifying–security problem from isolated, suicidal religious freaks like bin Laden into existential threats to the most powerful military ever.

      I think what Oliver means is that most of his colleagues are fools. Noted and logged.

    10. subadei Says:

      To Veryretired:

      Not hardly maudlin but inspiring.

    11. On Our Finest Ally « Soob Says:

      […] Our Finest Ally Consider this a belated Independence Day post. Via Helen at Chicago Boyz (and, er, Girlz) post regarding the 4th (and British anti-USism) this striking bit left in the […]